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Car worker cleared of GBH

A VAUXHALL worker has been cleared of assaulting a man who was later found dead in the Manchester Ship Canal.

A VAUXHALL worker has been cleared of assaulting a man who was later found dead in the Manchester Ship Canal.

Brian Raymond Jewkes, 37, walked out of Chester Crown Court a free man on Wednesday after a jury found him not guilty of causing James Fullerton grievous bodily harm.

It was alleged Mr Fullerton was seriously assaulted following a party at Jewkes' home in Telford Quay, Ellesmere Port, on November 4.

During the eight-day trial Jewkes claimed Mr Fullerton had 'jumped on him' grabbing him in a headlock and a tussle broke out. The jury of eight men and four women were told that any injury to Mr Fullerton caused by Jewkes had been done in self-defence.

Jewkes also maintained that when Mr Fullerton left his home there was no visible sign of injury.

But following the party Mr Fullerton, a 28-year-old labourer from Grafton Road, Ellesmere Port, went missing.

His body was discovered almost two weeks later, on November 16, in the canal following a lengthy search by police.

John Lever, prosecuting, said 41 separate injuries recorded on the body indicated Mr Fullerton had been seriously assaulted before he ended up in the canal.

He said that a home office pathologist noted bruising to the arms and legs, a couple of ribs were fractured, the upper lip was split and there was a fracture to the neck area.

On Monday Jewkes gave evidence and told the court he allowed Mr Fullerton to sleep at his home and was just getting into bed when Mr Fullerton grabbed him in a headlock.

Jewkes said he struggled to get free and the two men fell into a TV cabinet in the bedroom and fell down a cast iron spiral staircase, before Mr Fullerton was dragged out of the property.

John Lever, prosecuting, asked Jewkes what could have caused Mr Fullerton to act like this, and he said: 'He was just out of it and didn't know what he was doing.'

Jewkes maintained he was the victim of an unprovoked attack.

Opening the case last week Mr Lever told the court the day after the party Jewkes told a number of people that Mr Fullerton had tried to attack him in his home after the rest of the group had left and he had thrown him out of his home.

He told a friend Dean Barlow Mr Fullerton had tried to 'jump on him' and had broken a table so he 'had given him a slap'.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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